Metaverse and the Threads of Indian Mythical Lore

How we live and work is changing significantly as we enter the era of Metaverse and Web 3.0. A FICCI-EY’s 2022 report projected that the Metaverse and Web 3.0 could boost India’s GDP by a whopping $ 1.1 trillion by 2032. 

The term ‘Metaverse’ has become a buzzword, suggesting an immersive digital world where people can connect, socialise and explore beyond physical boundaries. However, it seems like a modern idea; its origins can be traced not only to science fiction but also to ancient texts like the Hindu Vedas and Puranas.

The current concept of the metaverse has its roots in both science fiction and computer science. Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel “Snow Crash” notably brought attention to a digital world where individuals interacted through avatars in a virtual space. This influential work formed the basis of our understanding of the metaverse today. However, the idea of an alternate, virtual reality beyond the physical world isn’t solely a recent notion. Ancient cultures and texts have contemplated parallel realities and transcendental spaces.

In Hinduism, the Vedas are regarded as the oldest sacred texts, tracing back thousands of years. References to a concept resembling the modern metaverse can be found in the Vedas and later in the Puranas.

The term “Akasha” frequently appears in Vedic literature, often translated as “ether,” “space,” or “sky.” It represents a spiritual dimension beyond the material world, an intangible substance existing beyond tangible reality. Akasha is described as a space where consciousness surpasses the limitations of time and matter.

In the Vedas, Akasha is depicted as a realm where the human mind connects with universal consciousness, providing a glimpse into infinite dimensions of existence. While not an exact match to the modern concept of the metaverse, it reflects the idea of an alternative, virtual space where individuals can interact, coexist, and explore without physical constraints.

In Hindu philosophy, “Maya” refers to the illusion or fleeting nature of the material world. It can be seen as an early form of the digital metaverse, where reality isn’t as it seems.

The ancient texts mention various “lokas” or realms, each with unique characteristics and inhabitants. Although not explicitly referring to a metaverse, the idea of multiple worlds could inspire the imagination of diverse virtual spaces within a metaverse.

The concept of cyclical ages or “yugas” could be metaphorical for the evolution of digital realities. Similar to how the world transitions through different yugas, the digital realm has evolved through various stages and technological epochs.

It’s important to recognise that these interpretations are metaphorical and symbolic. The Vedas and Puranas were composed in an era without technology. The concepts discussed in these texts are rooted in spiritual, cosmic, and philosophical ideas rather than technological or virtual concepts.

The metaverse is set to transform gaming, entertainment, education, commerce, and remote working industries. It brings remarkable chances for human interaction, creativity, and innovation. Within this new digital world, people can work, socialise and even own digital assets. 

Rooted in ancient philosophy and modern technology, the metaverse blends ancient wisdom with modern innovation. It’s a space where the lines between the past and future become blurred, providing limitless opportunities for human imagination and exploration. As we delve further into this digital space, we uncover new dimensions, linking the ancient wisdom of Akasha with the digital advancements of the metaverse. 

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